Webb Defending in Tulsa


04 John Q. Hammons Hotel ClassicBROKEN ARROW, Okla. -- Karrie Webb is probably the only person not thrilled about this week's $1 million John Q. Hammons Hotel Classic presented by Ford moving from Tulsa Country Club to Cedar Ridge Country Club.

Tulsa Country Club hosted the 54-hole event last year and proved to be an extremely difficult test for 143 of the 144 golfers in the field. Webb was the exception, as she waltzed around the course to a three-day total of 10-under-par 200 to win by an amazing nine shots.
This year, the tournament moves to Cedar Ridge Country Club. Webb will not only have the difficulty of defending on an unknown course, but will also be challenged by an extremely strong field.
Sixteen of the top 20 players on the 2004 ADT Official Money List are competing, including world number-one Annika Sorenstam, who makes her return to the LPGA Tour after more than a month-long hiatus.
Sorenstam, who won this event in 2002, supplanted Webb as the most dominant golfer in the game at the end of the 2001 season and has showed no signs of relinquishing the title. She has won four of the 12 LPGA events she hasplayed in this year and sits comfortably atop the ADT Official Money List at $1,665,208. That's an average of $138,767 per start.
U.S. Women's Open and BMO Financial Group Canadian Women's Open champion Meg Mallon is also playing this week. A win would tie her with Sorenstam at four wins this year, as Mallon also won the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic Presented by Kroger.
Mallon has won three of her last seven events and traditionally plays well at courses she is unfamiliar with. The U.S. Women's Open and the BMO Financial Group Canadian Women's Open were played on tracks Mallon had not seen before. The 41-year-old also finished sixth at the Wendy's Championship for Children three weeks ago when she teed it up for the first time at Tartan Fields Golf Club.

Also is the field are 2004 tournament winners Grace Park, Jennifer Rosales,
Wendy Doolan, Catriona Matthew, Moira Dunn, Sherri Steinhauer and two-time
winner Karen Stupples.
A win by Webb would put her in the same company as Cristie Kerr, Lorena Ochoa and Stupples, all players who have won at least two events this year. Webb won the Kellogg-Keebler Classic in June.
Last year, Webb led wire-to-wire and increased her lead after every round. She opened with a 5-under-par 65 to lead by one after 18 holes, and then increased her lead to three after round two. She played nearly flawless golf on Sunday, carding a 4-under-par 66, as she cruised her to her 29th career title.